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2014-04-24 13:33

CAR FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM: Volvo's 70-series cars and wagons led the way into the Noughties and then came the XC90. Image: Volvo


Volvo has designed a light and inflatable rearward-facing child seat concept. What's more, the company is celebrating 50 years of child safety.

The new millennium started hectically in Volvo's plant in Torslanda. The new V70 and XC70 took their places on the production lines based on the same technology as the Volvo S80.

Once again, Volvo says, it confirmed its position as a world leader with regard to safety, principally through new features such as the inflatable curtain side-impact curtain and WHIPS - whiplash protection system based on the front head-restraints.

GALLERY: Volvo celebrates 50 years

In 2002 Volvo stepped into an entirely new model segment, sport utility vehicles - which have long been a big seller in the USA. Many critics felt the then new Volvo XC90 was coming to the party too late but they were to be proved wrong.

15 000 ORDERS

The XC90 was a large seven-seater but with the safety, environmental performance, road-holding and practicality of a regular car. Customers loved it and the awards simply continued to stream in, including "Truck of the Year" in the USA.

15 000 orders were received even before the first car rolled off the production line in Torslanda; production soon reached about 60 000 a year.

When production of the first-generation Volvo XC90 ceases later in 2014 it will have constituted the biggest single export product yet from Sweden.

Six Volvo models are currently assembled in Torslanda: S60, V60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90. If the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, which requires a separate process due to its high-tension technology, that makes seven.

Each is assembled on the same line with a mix governed by how customers around the world have ordered their cars - logistics so complicated that it is difficult for an outsider to understand.

"After 50 years," Volvo says, "our workforce of more than 3000is now preparing for the next generation of Volvo models based on an all-new SPA architecture. First to be launched, later in 2014, will be the all-new Volvo XC90.

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